Review: Liars, Inc. by Paula Stokes

Title: Liars, Inc.
Author: Paula Stokes
Publisher: HarperTeen
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Paperback, 362 Pages
Published March 2015

Summary: Max Cantrell has never been a big fan of the truth, so when the opportunity arises to sell forged permission slips and cover stories to his classmates, it sounds like a good way to make a little money and liven up a boring senior year. With the help of his friends Preston and Parvati, Max starts Liars, Inc. Suddenly everybody needs something and the cash starts pouring in. Who knew lying could be so lucrative? When Preston wants his own cover story to go visit a girl he met online, Max doesn’t think twice about hooking him up. Until Preston never comes home. Then the evidence starts to pile up—terrifying clues that lead the cops to Preston’s body. Terrifying clues that point to Max as the murderer.

I heard a lot of good things about this book, so I was super excited to finally get my hands on it. And let me just say, this book was not what I was expecting. You get taken on a major roller coaster ride filled with love, heartbreak, tragedy, death, and a whole bunch of other crazy things. I was left with my head spinning, and I really liked that this book was able to effect me that much. Stokes is definitely a great author!

So Max's personality was definitely something that I liked right off the bat. Even though he had a super hard childhood (with a mother who died during childbirth and a father who died years later, and then he was homeless, and then he got put in the foster care system), he learned how to be responsible and keep himself alive. He was also super sarcastic and funny (and super flirty around his girlfriend), so reading this story from his perspective definitely kept things interesting. 

Another thing that I really liked about this book was the crazy amount of plot twists that it contained! (There are some major spoilers ahead so please skip to the next paragraph if you haven't read this book yet!) Especially towards the ending, when he runs into "Preston" (Adam) again and gets the whole story of what really happened (which was a plot twist in and of itself), and then that ends up being a lie and Adam really isn't on Max's side -- that was an even bigger plot twist that I was completely shocked by! Towards the end of this book I wasn't even completely sure who I was supposed to trust because it felt that every character kept coming back and doing shady sorts of things that you wouldn't expect. It was definitely totally crazy.

There was really only one thing about this book that bothered me, and I don't even completely know if it's a legitimate reason to be bothered or just because it's a matter of personal preference. The summary of the book on the back already tells you that Preston is found dead, so for half of the book, every time Preston was mentioned, I couldn't help but think to myself "Everything seems fine now, but he's going to die soon."

*shrugs* It kind of felt like reading a spoiler of a book before picking it up. You know what's going to happen, so it runs your reading experience a little bit when you can't stop thinking about what's going to happen in the future of the story, which in turn makes you focus less on the present and then you realize you weren't even paying attention to half the story because you were more concerned with what's going to happen later.

I know this shouldn't be a super big deal because it's the author herself (and/or her publisher) that chose to throw that tidbit into the summary to entice you to want to raed it, but..I don't know. Maybe if the summary just said something happened to Preston, or that something happened to somebody and it didn't specifically mention Preston...I don't know. I just felt that it was a little bit spoiled for me so I just kept thinking of what was going to happen (i.e. Preston being murdered and Max being completely innocent but still blamed for it) later on in the story. So that part took away from my experience a little bit.

But have no fear, because Max's hilariously sarcastic commentary (even at times when it wasn't entirely appropriate) made up for it in leaps and bounds.

All in all, Liars, Inc. was a fast-paced read filled with a shock at every turn. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and would definitely recommend it to anybody looking for their next thrilling read. Definitely add this book to your TBR even if you aren't a big thriller or mystery fan, because I'm confident that this book will make you change your viewpoint! I'm definitely looking forward to reading more books by Stokes in the future. :-)


  1. Great review Jessica! I haven't picked this one up yet, but I am definitely more excited to now thanks to your review! I am glad that Max is a strong character but I am sad to hear that the summary spoils the book a bit. That is always a bit disappointing. Can't wait to see what you read next!

    Jamie @ Books and Ladders

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